Nobody wants to hear that their chakras are blocked. Thankfully, there are several tools and practices we can use to unblock them too! In this mini series I’ll be talking about how to open your chakras with these different techniques. In this post we’re talking how to open your chakras with yoga! Let’s get to it!
How to Open Your Chakras with Yoga
What are chakras?
Chakras are a concept that come from Hindu tradition and are often taught in yogic practice. Chakras are based on the view that as well as having a physical body, we also have an energetic body. Life force energy (prana) runs through meridians, or energy paths, in the body.
Chakras are essentially energy centres that regulate prana at particular points in our body for adequate emotion, organ and immune function. There are seven chakras within the human body that have their own vibrational frequency represented by a different colour.
The problem is that if these chakras become “blocked”, due to various life stressors, energy doesn’t flow as it should. This can result in a wide range of emotional and physical problems depending on the chakra that is out of balance. But the GOOD NEWS is there are lots of different ways to get your chakras back into balance – and yoga is one of them.
How to Open Your Chakras with Yoga Poses
The root chakra (Mvladhara)
The first chakra is located at the base of spine and is represented by a red four petal lotus flower. Mvladhara is all about grounding, survival, security and safety. When this chakra is balanced you should feel grounded and safe, and not have worries over stability in your life.
If the root chakra is underactive you may feel negative, cynical and insecure. You may experience anxiety, fears and nightmares. If the chakra is overactive you may be prone to greed.
Physical imbalances may show as problems in the colon, the bladder, lower back or legs.
Yoga poses for the root chakra:
- Shavasana (corpse pose)
- Tadasana (mountain pose)
- Virabhadrasana I (warrior 1)
The sacral chakra (svadhishthana)
The second chakra is located in the pelvic area and is represented by an orange six petal lotus flower. Svadhishthana is associated with emotions, sexuality and creativity. A balanced sacral shakra will allow your emotions and desires to flow freely.
An underactive sacral chakra will make you feel numb and out of touch with your feelings. You may have a lack of sexual desire/satisfaction.
An overactive chakra may feel like you’re being ruled by your emotions and you may get stuck in feelings/moods.
Imbalances in the sacral chakra may lead to physical symptoms such as sexual imbalance.
Yoga poses for the sacral chakra:
- Balasana (child’s pose)
- Natarajasana (dancer’s pose)
- Parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose)
The solar plexus chakra (manipura)
The third chakra is located between your navel and solar plexus and is represented by a yellow ten petal lotus flower.
Manipura is associated with decision making, judgment and self-confidence. A balanced solar plexus chakra will allow you to make clear decisions and effective judgments, and feel confident in your own abilities.
An underactive solar plexus chakra may have you feeling helpless, irresponsible, or like you have a lack of purpose or ambition.
Alternatively, an overactive solar plexus may make you behave manipulatively, using excessive control and misusing your power.
Physical symptoms of an imbalance of the solar plexus can manifest as problems with digestion, IBS symptoms and difficulty with managing weight.
Yoga poses for the solar plexus chakra:
- Dhanurasana (bow pose)
- Virabhadrasana I (warrior 1)
- Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)
The heart chakra (anahata)
The fourth chakra is situated at the center of your chest and takes the appearance of a green twelve petaled lotus flower.
Anahata is associated with love, relationships, compassion and forgiveness. A balanced heart chakra will lead to you feeling happy and fulfilled in your relationships. You will be able to experience gratitude and compassion for others.
An underactive heart chakra may cause you to feel defensive or closed down. You may isolate yourself and have a tendency to hold grudges.
An overactive heart chakra may cause you to rely on other’s approval and attention, or put others before yourself.
Imbalance of the heart chakra can cause physical symptoms of the respiratory system e.g. lung infections, and heart related/circulatory problems.
Yoga for the heart chakra:
- Uttanasana (forward fold)
- Bakasana (crow pose)
- Ustrasana (camel pose)
The throat chakra (vishuddha)
Your fifth chakra is located within the neck/shoulder area and is represented by a sixteen petal blue lotus flower.
Vishuddha is associated with inner truth, communication and connection. When it is in balance you should be able to freely express yourself, your beliefs and put your creativity into practice.
An underactive throat chakra may lead to excessive fear of speaking, a small timid voice, excessive secretiveness or shyness and a lack of connection with a purpose in life (your inner truth).
An overactive throat chakra may lead to lack of control over speech, an inability to keep secrets, telling lies and gossiping.
Physical signs of an imbalanced throat chakra can manifest as a sore throat, neck pain, headaches and hoarseness.
Yoga for the throat chakra:
- Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)
- Matsyasana (fish pose)
- Halasana (plow pose)
- Simhasana (lion pose)
The third eye chakra (ajna)
Your sixth chakra is located between your eyebrows/behind your forehead. It is often depicted as an indigo lotus flower with two petals (with each petal said to contain the power of the 48 petals of the chakras below, thus representing a 96 petal lotus flower).
Ajna is associated with vision, intuition, insight and inspiration. A balanced third eye allows you to see an alternative perspective and listen to your intuition.
An underactive third eye may make you unable to establish a vision for yourself, unable to see a bigger picture, or feel stuck in everyday problems without being able to look past them.
Alternatively, an overactive third eye without balance from the other chakras can lead to fantasies that appear more real than reality or delusions.
Physical symptoms of a third eye imbalance can show as sinus problems or insomnia.
Yoga for the third eye chakra:
- Balasana (child’s pose)
- Janusirsasana (head to knee pose)
- Ardha pincha mayurasana (dolphin pose)
The crown chakra (sahasrara)
Your seventh chakra is located at the crown of the head and is represented as a violet thousand petal lotus flower.
Sahasrara is associated with awareness of higher consciousness, wisdom, liberation from limiting patterns and presence. If your crown chakra is balanced you will feel content with “all that is”.
An underactive crown chakra may manifest as constant cynicism about what is sacred, a disconnect to spirit and earthly matters and closed-mindedness.
An overactive crown chakra may make you feel disconnected to your own body or make you overly attached to spiritual matters.
Yoga for the crown chakra:
Go and Get Practicing!
I hope the first part of the chakra series has helped you to understand a little more about the chakra system and how to open your chakras with yoga!
If you are new to yoga, and unfamiliar with some of the poses I have mentioned, I would recommend YouTubing them to see the pose in practice and learn the foundations of the pose (or pop to a yoga class!).
The next part of the chakra series will focus on crystals for your chakras.